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Ready to run: Girls on the Run offering in person, online programming this fall

Drew Butler
drew.butler@ardmoreite.com
Members of Girls on the Run participate in a practice 5K in Lone Grove in the spring of 2019.

Girls on the Run will be offering two options for participants when they enroll in the upcoming fall session. In addition to the traditional on-site teams located at many area schools, the organization is now introducing an entirely online team for homeschooled and distance learning students.

The mission of Girls on the Run is to inspire girls from grades three through eight to recognize their inner strength and celebrate themselves and their achievements. Trained coaches lead the teams with research-based curricula, group discussions and physical activity.

Interim Council Director Jodi Woydziak said the new virtual program will provide additional flexibility to everyone involved in the program — especially if a school is forced to temporarily close or a student is at home on quarantine.

“It’s a fluid model so if one of our in-person teams has to go to distance learning, we can move their program online in a totally seamless manner,” she said.

The primary difference between the online and the in-person programs is the length of the session and the workout. It will follow the same curriculum but will only last 45 minutes, and then the girls will work out individually instead of with their teammates.

“Our coaches will be using Google Meet or Zoom to hold the sessions, and both of those have a call in option for any of the girls who don’t have internet access,” Woydziak said. “it won’t be the exact same experience as it would be in person, but at least they’ll still get to participate.”

Woydziak believes Girls on the Run will provide a much-needed physical and emotional release to the girls during such a stressful time.

“We had two successful weeks of camp in July with 42 girls, and that’s when we as a council saw first-hand how much the girls need this right now,” she said. “They need to be able to name their emotions and be able to process those emotions. It’s important to have an outlet for that somewhere other than home or school.”

Woydziak said Girls on the Run of Southern Oklahoma is currently looking for volunteer coaches to lead their Davis and Madill Chapters. She knows just how important these volunteers are because she herself first joined the organization as a volunteer coach.

“I started as a volunteer coach in 2017, and then I came on staff in May of 2019 as the program and office coordinator,” she said. “We’re currently looking for a new council director, and once that position is filled I’ll go back to doing that.”

For more information about Girls on the Run or to sign up as a volunteer, visit www.girlsontherunsook.org.